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Our History & Staff

Personalized Service • Compassionate Care

Our Beginnings

 

  History
The Cunningham Funeral Home
December 1931

The Vigen Memorial Home in Keokuk was constructed in 1929 and was one of the first buildings in the state of Iowa to be built for use strictly as a funeral home. It was known then as the Cunningham Funeral home. In 1978, Marcus Vigen acquired the business, known as the Schmidt Memorial Home. Through the years, several remodeling projects have brought this building to it's present condition, offering a warm, comfortable atmosphere and ample room for visitations and funerals.

In 1994, Vigen Memorial Home expanded to include a branch in Kahoka, Missouri, and acquired the Shaffer Funeral Home. Originally founded in 1873 as the Karle Funeral Home, it has roots deep in the history of Kahoka. A major remodeling project in 1996 updated the facility and created a welcoming environment for the community.

 

Our Staff's Commitment to You


Staff members of Vigen Funeral Home are caring and experienced professionals who understand that each family is unique and has personal requests and traditions. These requests and traditions are of utmost importance to our staff of licensed funeral directors.

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Marcus Vigen Owner - Funeral Director

Marcus grew up in Northeast Iowa in St. Olaf, IA, and graduated from the Elkader High School, Elkader, IA in 1972. He moved to Cedar Rapids, IA and attended and graduated from the Kirkwood Community College in 1975. He then moved to Chicago to attend the Worsham Mortuary College and graduated in 1976, Moving back to Iowa to serve his internship at the Hayden Funeral Home in Wyoming, IA. After receiving his funeral director license moved back to Cedar Rapids to work at the John B. Turner & Sons Funeral Home.

When the opportunity arose he purchased the Schmidt Memorial Home in Keokuk, IA in 1978. This is where he has made his home ever since. Being on the Illinois and Missouri border he obtained his Illinois and Missouri Funeral director and Embalmers License.

In 1994 he purchased the former Shaffer and Sons Funeral Home in Kahoka, MO, now named, Vigen Memorial Home. This is where his daughter and her husband, Melissa Vigen and Jason Trone work.

Marcus and Sarah were married in 2005 and together they strive to help families create a personalized tribute to their loved ones.

Marcus and Sarah are members of the First Christian Church in Keokuk where they serve as Deacons

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Sarah Vigen Licensed Funeral Director

Sarah has lived in Keokuk since 1970 when her family moved here from southern Illinois. She graduated from Keokuk High School and then attended Lincoln Christian College for one year. She returned to Keokuk and graduated from Southeastern Community College and furthered her education at George Williams College in Downers Grove, IL where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree.

Sarah began her employment with Vigen Memorial Home in 1995. In 2001, she decided to return to school to further her education in funeral service. Sarah graduated from Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, CO in August of 2003 with a degree in Mortuary Science. She has received her funeral directors licenses for Iowa, Illinois and Missouri.

Sarah and Marcus Vigen were married in 2005 and together they strive to help families create a personalized tribute to their loved ones.

Sarah and Marcus are members of the First Christian Church in Keokuk where they serve as Deacons.

Sarah is an active member of the Great River Players Community Theater, voluntering in various ways as well as appearing on stage from time to time.

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Melissa Vigen Licensed Funeral Director

Melissa was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and at the age of 3 moved to Keokuk with her parents. She was a 1994 graduate of the Keokuk High School and a 2002 graduate of the Carl Sandburg College, Mortuary Science Department. Melissa received her funeral directors license in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. She is currently working at the Vigen Memorial Home in Kahoka, MO where she resides with her husband Jason and her two sons, Ryan and Brent.

She is a member of Clark County Economic Development Corporation, American Cancer Society, Dollars for Scholars, Clark County Chapter Order of Eastern Star, Former President of Friends of Sever Library, Iowa Funeral Directors Association, Missouri Funeral Directors Association, Illinois Funeral Directors Association and National Funeral Directors Association.  She also was the former co-chairman for the annual flag day celebration in Kahoka.

Melissa enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching her sons in their sporting events, traveling and helping and doing things for the community.

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Jason Trone Licensed Funeral Director

Jason previously worked at Alliance Imaging for 11 years as a MRI Technologist before deciding to go to school to further his education. He graduated from Des Moines Area Community College where he received an Associate’s Degree in Mortuary Science.

“I decided I wanted to become a funeral director after experiencing the professionalism and compassion shown by Vigen Memorial Home to the families during their time of need. When a family loses a loved one it is a very difficult time, and I want to help them celebrate the life that their loved one had. We at Vigen Memorial Home understand that every family’s wishes and needs are different, so with experience and expertise we try to help families arrange the funeral that is right for their family,” Jason stated.

Jason is originally from Keokuk, Ia where he was born and raised and graduated from Keokuk High School in 1992. He and his family reside in Kahoka.

In his free time he enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with his wife Melissa Vigen and step-sons Brent and Ryan Tweedy. Jason is also an avid Steeler’s Fan, and likes spending time attending all his step-sons sporting and school events.

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Jennifer Briscoe Secretary

Jennifer position at Vigen Memorial home is Secretary and office manager. Jennifer is a Keokuk native and graduated from the Keokuk High School. She is married to Dustin and they have two children.

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Mike Shea Funeral Service Assistant

Mike has assisted with services at the Vigen Memorial Homes in Keokuk and Kahoka since June of 1997.

He hosts a daily radio show, "It's a Beautiful Day for Living" on WCAZ radio station. He also broadcasts Keokuk Chiefs Football on WCAZ AM-900 through "Mike Sheas's Sports Caravan"

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Harry McGee Funeral Service Assistant & Maintenance

Harry has been with Vigen Memorial Home for many years. He has served in a variety of capacities at including assisting with funerals and maintaining the facilities and cars.

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Wayne Blum Licensed Funeral Director in Missouri

A life-long resident of Clark County, Wayne has assisted with funeral services for many years.

He is a member of St. Paul United Church of Christ and is a member of many organizations.

Marcus Vigen

Owner - Funeral Director
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Marcus grew up in Northeast Iowa in St. Olaf, IA, and graduated from the Elkader High School, Elkader, IA in 1972. He moved to Cedar Rapids, IA and attended and graduated from the Kirkwood Community College in 1975. He then moved to Chicago to attend the Worsham Mortuary College and graduated in 1976, Moving back to Iowa to serve his internship at the Hayden Funeral Home in Wyoming, IA. After receiving his funeral director license moved back to Cedar Rapids to work at the John B. Turner & Sons Funeral Home.

When the opportunity arose he purchased the Schmidt Memorial Home in Keokuk, IA in 1978. This is where he has made his home ever since. Being on the Illinois and Missouri border he obtained his Illinois and Missouri Funeral director and Embalmers License.

In 1994 he purchased the former Shaffer and Sons Funeral Home in Kahoka, MO, now named, Vigen Memorial Home. This is where his daughter and her husband, Melissa Vigen and Jason Trone work.

Marcus and Sarah were married in 2005 and together they strive to help families create a personalized tribute to their loved ones.

Marcus and Sarah are members of the First Christian Church in Keokuk where they serve as Deacons

Sarah Vigen

Licensed Funeral Director
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Sarah has lived in Keokuk since 1970 when her family moved here from southern Illinois. She graduated from Keokuk High School and then attended Lincoln Christian College for one year. She returned to Keokuk and graduated from Southeastern Community College and furthered her education at George Williams College in Downers Grove, IL where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree.

Sarah began her employment with Vigen Memorial Home in 1995. In 2001, she decided to return to school to further her education in funeral service. Sarah graduated from Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, CO in August of 2003 with a degree in Mortuary Science. She has received her funeral directors licenses for Iowa, Illinois and Missouri.

Sarah and Marcus Vigen were married in 2005 and together they strive to help families create a personalized tribute to their loved ones.

Sarah and Marcus are members of the First Christian Church in Keokuk where they serve as Deacons.

Sarah is an active member of the Great River Players Community Theater, voluntering in various ways as well as appearing on stage from time to time.

Melissa Vigen

Licensed Funeral Director
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Melissa was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and at the age of 3 moved to Keokuk with her parents. She was a 1994 graduate of the Keokuk High School and a 2002 graduate of the Carl Sandburg College, Mortuary Science Department. Melissa received her funeral directors license in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. She is currently working at the Vigen Memorial Home in Kahoka, MO where she resides with her husband Jason and her two sons, Ryan and Brent.

She is a member of Clark County Economic Development Corporation, American Cancer Society, Dollars for Scholars, Clark County Chapter Order of Eastern Star, Former President of Friends of Sever Library, Iowa Funeral Directors Association, Missouri Funeral Directors Association, Illinois Funeral Directors Association and National Funeral Directors Association.  She also was the former co-chairman for the annual flag day celebration in Kahoka.

Melissa enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching her sons in their sporting events, traveling and helping and doing things for the community.

Jason Trone

Licensed Funeral Director
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Jason previously worked at Alliance Imaging for 11 years as a MRI Technologist before deciding to go to school to further his education. He graduated from Des Moines Area Community College where he received an Associate’s Degree in Mortuary Science.

“I decided I wanted to become a funeral director after experiencing the professionalism and compassion shown by Vigen Memorial Home to the families during their time of need. When a family loses a loved one it is a very difficult time, and I want to help them celebrate the life that their loved one had. We at Vigen Memorial Home understand that every family’s wishes and needs are different, so with experience and expertise we try to help families arrange the funeral that is right for their family,” Jason stated.

Jason is originally from Keokuk, Ia where he was born and raised and graduated from Keokuk High School in 1992. He and his family reside in Kahoka.

In his free time he enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with his wife Melissa Vigen and step-sons Brent and Ryan Tweedy. Jason is also an avid Steeler’s Fan, and likes spending time attending all his step-sons sporting and school events.

Jennifer Briscoe

Secretary
photo

Jennifer position at Vigen Memorial home is Secretary and office manager. Jennifer is a Keokuk native and graduated from the Keokuk High School. She is married to Dustin and they have two children.

Mike Shea

Funeral Service Assistant
photo

Mike has assisted with services at the Vigen Memorial Homes in Keokuk and Kahoka since June of 1997.

He hosts a daily radio show, "It's a Beautiful Day for Living" on WCAZ radio station. He also broadcasts Keokuk Chiefs Football on WCAZ AM-900 through "Mike Sheas's Sports Caravan"

Harry McGee

Funeral Service Assistant & Maintenance
photo

Harry has been with Vigen Memorial Home for many years. He has served in a variety of capacities at including assisting with funerals and maintaining the facilities and cars.

Wayne Blum

Licensed Funeral Director in Missouri
photo

A life-long resident of Clark County, Wayne has assisted with funeral services for many years.

He is a member of St. Paul United Church of Christ and is a member of many organizations.